Saturday, 31 March 2018

the darkness of the sea

the sea rolls past in the dark
and it won’t say
it never does 
and it never will
stare if you will 
but it never will

Friday, 30 March 2018



kiss his little kiss-curl your lovely baby boy
kiss along his little hand upon his little toy
kiss away his tears when it fell off
and wouldn’t go no more
look mum 
said his wide sad eyes
kiss away the sadness with
a bright new toy 
for your boy’s big beaming smile

then kiss away his bemusement
when she bit him by the beads 
in the nursery and pushed him away
and kiss his friends 
with jelly and ice cream 
and tuck him into bed 
after he has fallen to sleep

kiss away his bloody knees and
fears in his tears 
and plaster the disaster 
before he runs back out to play
on the day he went 
that bit further away 
and came home so very late
kiss away your tears before
he sees the pain that he can cause
because there’s plenty of time in childhood
before that clause is drawn

then kiss way his dejection when
his girlfriend has another 
and then another girlfriend 
presents another tear 
for you to kiss away 
and you have to explain
that you too have been that way

kiss away the tears of laughter
when you share a precious joke
while you are still together
and not yet looking back 
then kiss away his growing pains
as you grow a little more apart
when his friends 
the boys and girls
has him cruelly say
you don’t understand 

and those tears of frustration 
you must not kiss away 
upon the day he stood alone
looking darkly back

yet you will still kiss away 
with careful words
the snares upon his track towards
that will never be total 
for you are always there 
at home 

when the big girl troubles really hurt
he’ll sort of beg you to kiss away
his pain 
and then run from you again 
denying he ever did
that it’s all
water under the bridge
standing tall upon your kisses
with the hint of a hint of a hint
of a tear in his eye and
he has no idea why

then you will kiss 
in a far away way
saying yes I am ok
when all the while his happiness 
with his princess will take him
further and further away
until finally he is gone
with a bag of your secret tears 
stored well away 
for him to draw upon
on a far away rainy day

and he has one special tear for you
kept deep within his heart
he’ll not need to call upon that
until you finally depart
and the big little boy
will drop that in your grave
and kiss away the tears
of his own little boy
who asked 
why did nanna 
have to go away

Jim Young

Thursday, 29 March 2018

rack and rue in


  in ruins
  in ruins
the rape of the valley

my valley that cut my knees 
bleeding as black as the slag tips
that tripped my feet 
and tricked my mind
my wide-eyed playground
of touch stones

the soot encrusted bricks
that tattooed the gap-toothed buildings 
roofless and ruthlessly crippled
with an open armed silent welcome
a wagon train circle around
the children who saw only ruins
not ghosts

no anguished tears soaked into
the ruins 
no camaraderie of the exploited
the manhood of grime halted mid term

the children
saw the
topple down walls crash
and splash into our river of laughter
our cake tray of bricks
the brail of the hardened cinders
the satanic black of the slag frozen now

we walked the cobbled roads
into the ruins
cobbles that still would not tolerate
a single weed
to infiltrate the years laid thick
upon the clog ringing ways
that we flew over oblivious
and frivolous in a spin

in our dare-devil pull it down
fun we saw only fun
had no inkling of the rich burghers 
who’s names named our terraced streets
and statues lorded it over their beneficent parks 
or the cascade of manacled managers
and subservient men
who lived and died for their brass

that was our class and we knew it not
ragamuffin boys and torn gingham girls 
we had tight horizons
tall ruined walls to call our own
that were our sin and secret
our pushing of the boundaries down
until the rebellion of adolescence met its match
and we conformed in ruin to our ruin

our houses were built from the ruin of slag
on the ruin of slag
and bucolic was but just a plague
amongst the stunted grass as
we bowed low under the weight
of our prospects in our tallow

the ruins are visited 
down through the generations
and when play turned sour
ruin came home to play with
the tarot cards that were stacked
and dealt the death card that was 
always the ruined slag
and our hands were callused
as our minds were callous

then we saw our children laugh
and scream in delight at the ruins
at the blight of sulphur and red ash
the ruins 
                  the ruins
were our ruin
out there we knew 
were other ruins
but these were our

our ruins
                ours to rack
                                       and rue in


every grain of thought is
a jewel on the sands of time
even when the tide returns
to wipe them all away
as it must    
no tear is ever wasted
in the tides of history

Tuesday, 27 March 2018


the sea breathes a secret,
the gulls scream do not listen
lies, lies, lies.
ignoring them 
the sea breathes a secret 
to those who listen;
especially to those who swim
in the catechism of its embrace.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

R S Thomas.

R S Thomas. 
my nose in his poems,
my head upon his pocket watch,
that ticks time’s mountain rocks. 
where the heavy tears cascade, 
drying down the lonely years,
staining the pages there,
where he questions his faith,
or the dearth of faith,
and the loneliness of death.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Adolescence and beyond

to be an adolescent is like being rolled along under a glacier,
the motion of the diffuse light far above predetermined.
the golden gravel befriended grind upon each other
as the mons veneris rocks of the smooth bottom
caress and release the fingertips of the goodbye times.
the bright fertile sea under the whole sun waits,
even as the open sky’s chill winds hold back the emotion
for an agonising instant.

the berg breaks and floats away.

lifted on the skirts of a wave, abreast the golden spume,
excited by the frisson of the sea race, the cold creep of
adolescence melts. by the time the berg meets its mate 
at the equatorial tropics, the decay has already set in;

as the fruits fall in the family orchard, 
the leaves turn to russet in their sunset.
tears evaporate into the storm and the clouds gather,
to deposit the snows of age upon the upper glacier.
the winter solstice presses, and presses, and
one by one they crystalise.
deep below the journey resumes.

a call of the sea

a call of the sea
slips into my garden,
slattering the sunbeam gate.
the landward lanyard releases me,
and I run high rocky paths that harden,
above time’s tide in surges hasten, be not late.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

the Beatles

the Beatles pumped the tears 
        around my veins,
hung me from a sky hook,
        and shook me 
to the soles of my feet,
tapping the sixties kisses
around in fairground reels.
well hot dog! 
               the salt and vinegar
days would never end.
but end they did; 
  and yes they do,
                     every time we hear
the Beatles pump it up;
my blood runs cold 
even as my heart’s aflame.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

dead? certain?

the best truck is a dead truck.
its extinction clothed by nature,
its carcass gone to rust.
a cold frame for the vegetation
that cannot believe its luck.
the speedometer, we trust,
is stuck below sub-zero, the
steering wheel in exasperation
at the child's brum, brum,
it must
           go on, it must!
was it only yesterday,
this trade-in for tomorrow?
or its final curtain call?
how bright will they be,
how bright do you see,
all our tomorrows?
or do you prefer our yesterdays?
it’s time, for you, to decide.

well go on then!

Muse time for a rhyme

Monday, 19 March 2018

the matter of a dark question

i am an atheist


what if
like dark matter
their ‘god’ is sensed by
the movement of
bodies close by

they are moved
even if
we are not

to say we are not
is not to deny 
moves them

an atheist 
a rock in a
moving sea?

second hand prose

the husk pages of a book 
in seance with the summer wind,
restless across the corn field; 
the harvest of memory
that poets in memoriam be,
in their twilight days,
they have laid down the years. 
smell the must of their words
that they say “must be”,
they simply must be. 
wake up!

the storm approaches. 

Saturday, 17 March 2018

the newts of spring

the newts of spring

spring of the newted boys,
infatuated the many mile,
up the cefn, 
to the clay pits, and
turning the mud bricks,
and taken with a smile,
pot the newts with magic.
the safari floats home
back down the memory mile.

Friday, 16 March 2018

the tea is drunk

the tea is drunk
the log fire dawdles
the music wanes
the seance begins 
the words cross over 
onto the page
you are reading them


the beholden poet’s clatter
is spilled in word’s that clatter
it doesn’t matter 
          it doesn’t matter 
let the seance resume

let the abscess that gathers
all the puerile aged pus 
yield to my sinus pen
be lanced the boil
drain the mind marinade
of the all the anthologies
and all the libraries of noise


can I sear this tattoo 
of the past and
brand the page anew
or water mark it
as my own

  exorcised of the poets 
the vacuoles still remain
to permeate my poems
  is there no icy pool 
into which I can dive
and emerge pristine

let me think
      let me think

Thursday, 15 March 2018

failing to reach escape velocity

my childhood; a stone in my shoe,
a wallpapered memory, peeling;
trimming the lamps, and dimming
grandpa’s gas-mantled dusk.

rejecting today’s vermillion carpet,
unwelcome by the zinc bath boy;
the iced windows are, thoughtlessly,
not listening. they never did.

the hard slag tips’ strong foundation,
is ill-designed for building today;
they will not house my childhood.
false, they call back; false, false!

eyelid heavy, the village days wrap
up my today and throw it away.
the village ball and chain drag,
and i fall back as i always do.

said the four o’clock abed

westminster dolefully downs the cold fired night
where the black pads scurry crumbs 
homeless on the grit coal carpet grate.
then chimes the hour balanced moment 
between the days down either side,
and thoughts suspended simply are,
and we? where are we halted then?

between a dry tear and a lemon smile,
a rising laugh and a choked off frown.
the scant breath off the lake of night
lays a black cracked window feather,
to stir the stardust ashes
around the point of no return.
with no signpost forward,
sleep comes to kiss;
there, there; hush now,
my cariad,
nos da,
night you night,
for everything’s alright.